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RE: Bridge engineer consultant needed Now: Collaboration Questions

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-----Original Message-----
From: Structuralist [mailto:dennis.wish(--nospam--at)gte.net]
Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 9:06 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Cc: aec-residential(--nospam--at)polhemus.cc
Subject: Was: Bridge engineer consultant needed Now: Collaboration Questions

Would anyone like to comment? Is this an idea worth pursuing and if so, what would be the best method of instituting such a plan - a private network of structural professionals?
 
Of course it is feasible, but let me give you an opinion as to what I think is "missing".
 
That is, "face-to-face contact."
 
As much as we'd like to dismiss it, it is a real concern for some--not all, but enough that I think it affects how well something like this will go forward.
 
For example:
 
I am one of those who lately has been "slow". So, I did a little online networking, and got some promising "nibbles," but nothing that has (as yet) panned out.
 
Then, I begin attending some local society meetings, nothing really fancy, just s little face time with six or eight other structural engineers on a committee. I make commitments to help one of them out on a committee project. Next thing I know, he's telling me that he might know a guy or two who needs some help. He drops names. I call and introduce myself, and chat. I get an invitation to come and see them "face to face" and chat some more.
 
Next thing I know, I'm walking out with a file folder or two full of sketches and notes, ready to go to work.
 
It just seems a natural thing, ESPECIALLY for us engineers. It's "hands on". The guy sizes me up, likes the cut of my jib, and decides "what the h*ll, I've got this job sitting here gathering dust, don't know if I'll even be able to GET to the thing before the client starts screaming for it. What can I lose?"
 
Anyway, I don't know that this is as likely to happen via email and phone conversations. There are some who would be willing to take that leap, but not enough.

FWIW, one of our fellow listmembers who works on the west coast, approached me a year ago with a proposition to do some work for his company (he was a manager). But his idea got shot down by the engineering manager at his company. "Why should we ship work halfway across the country? Let's just find some guy down the street!"
 
Q.E.D.
 
William L. Polhemus, Jr., P.E.
Polhemus Engineering Company
Katy, Texas
Phone 281-492-2251
Fax 281-492-8203